Reliance heir Akash Ambani says his family has taught him to stay simple, but dream big. Excerpts from his first media interview to Hello! magazine…
Completely in tune with the ambitious Reliance Jio Info comm Limited (RJIL)’s 4G venture today , it’s surprising to hear that a short while ago, Akash Ambani wasn’t keen on coming back to India. “I wanted to work in the US,” he says.
“But last year when my dad was visiting, he asked me what I use the internet for and I said to read, learn and gain knowledge. He said, wouldn’t you like to provide that knowledge to 1.2 billion Indians? He explained the project to me, and I decided this is what I want to do.”
Heir to Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), Akash doesn’t appear intimidated by his formidable legacy in his first-ever media interview. “I wouldn’t say it weighs on me.
“It motivates me,” says the 22-year-old son of Nita and Mukesh D Ambani. Back in India last year after a Bachelors in Economics from Brown University, he claims technology is his passion. “So far my experience (at Jio) has been incredible. It’s a lifetime opportunity to contribute to one of the largest rollouts of digital services in the world,” he says.
Scions of business families work their way up and it is no different with the Ambanis. At age 24, current chairman and managing director of RIL Mukesh Ambani learnt the fundamentals of the group’s flagship petrochemicals business by shadowing his father, the late Dhirubhai Ambani. Akash is being similarly mentored.
“My dad is very keen I sit through all critical meetings and learn the ropes of the business from the beginning. He feels this is the best education for me,” says Akash.
Born to India’s richest man, Akash credits his mother for his grounded personality. “She has instilled in us simplicity. It is from her that we learned to respect and value money. In school days, the pocket money we used to get was a pittance as compared to our friends. Even while studying at Brown, all the expenses used to go through her,” he claims.
Mom Nita sparkles while talking about her son. “My boy has finally grown into a man. I don’t believe it… he is giving his first interview as a businessman. It is such a proud moment for me as a mother,” she says smilingly, adding, “Akash is very sensi tive and emotional and relates with people very well. He has many of his father’s qualities and it’s great to see that in him.”
Life in Mumbai is mostly work for Akash, who has a five day week at the Navi Mumbai office, 50 km from his house on Altamount Road. When he does unwind on weekends, he enjoys watching movies with his dad. “We watch at least 2-3 movies a week. I think we have seen almost every movie released,” he says.
An avid cricketer, he’s been closely involved with the family-owned IPL franchise Mumbai Indians. Akash is a serious footie fan too, and he reveals he’s excited about his involvement in the Indian Super League (ISL) to promote soccer in India. “In sport, there is a new learning: how to deal with people in a way that a boardroom will not teach me,” he says. Sailing, watching documentaries and photography are other passions.
What Akash cherishes most, however, is time with family — including twin sister Isha, who is working with McKinsey in New York, and younger brother Anant, now at Brown. They may be in three different cities of the world, but the siblings remain connected. “Isha and I share a special bond. Anant understands me best: it’s amazing,” he says. When they’re all home, they always have dinner together. “This is something my grandfather ensured and we still follow. Sundays are special,” he says.
Akash was just a boy when Dhirubhai Ambani passed away, but he recalls some sweet memories. “All of us cousins spent Sundays with him, and when he walked in the garden I used to accompany him,” Akash says, recalling they both loved eating gur papri. Dhirubhai also left his grandson with some life-lessons.
“He used to say, ‘Money lost can be earned again, but lost time is lost forever. So use your time judiciously,'” Akash recalls, adding dad Mukesh has also shared words of wisdom. “He always says trust people and they will trust you. And business can grow only in an environment of trust and respect.”
These learnings help Akash navigate today. “Both taught me to dream big, aim high but to not forget humility and individual connections is critical.”
Joint statement from the Greater Toronto Area & Hamilton Mayors and Chairs
We are united in fighting COVID-19 – protecting our residents and saving lives.
While the measures we have taken to stop the spread of the virus have made a difference, this virus has still taken far too many lives in our communities and continues to threaten the lives of our residents.
At the same time, there is no denying the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the economy. Jobs have been lost, many businesses have closed or are at risk of closure, and many families are worried about their financial future.
We’ve been hit hard but that’s why it is so important that we keep moving forward and come back as strong as possible.
Today, the GTHA Mayors and Chairs met to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on the region and how our municipalities can work together on the economic restart and recovery.
We know the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area alone is projected to lose 355,000 jobs and 28% of GDP along with $894 million in lost wages and $3.7 billion in revenue losses for businesses. This will be felt right across the GTHA but it also threatens the provincial and national economies.
A strong recovery right here in the GTHA is crucial to healing the economic damage done by COVID-19 and helping the families and businesses all governments have been working to protect throughout this emergency.
Ontario’s economy and Canada’s economy need the GTHA to come back stronger than ever when the restart begins.
We are determined to deliver this recovery and we agreed today that the GTHA municipalities will be working together to successfully and smoothly reopen our vital regional economy when the time comes.
We also discussed how we can in a consistent way achieve significant, necessary financial support from the other governments to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and protect our ability to contribute to the recovery. A strong recovery needs strong cities and regional governments.
We have agreed we will work together to share information about our respective financial positions and explore together measures we can advocate to the other governments which will help to ensure the financial stability of local and regional governments in the GTHA.
Our child care and recreation programs help parents get back to work.
Our emergency services keep people safe.
Our transit systems get people to work and home safely.
Our major infrastructure projects – often built in conjunction with the other governments – will help kick-start the recovery and create countless jobs.
Our economic development activities attract jobs and investment.
We built a strong and vibrant GTHA and we know that we will need to come back even stronger and as quickly as we can in order to keep Canada’s economy going.
With the cooperation and support of the provincial and federal governments, we are ready to rise to this challenge.”
Four People Charged in Mississauga Pedestrian Fail to Remain Fatality
Investigators from the Major Collision Bureau have charged four people in Mississauga’s most recent fatal fail to remain collision.
On Thursday, February 15, 2018, at approximately 8:40 p.m., the victim, a 61 year-old female from Mississauga, was struck by a south bound vehicle as she was crossing Mavis Road in the area of Knotty Pine Grove in the City of Mississauga. The vehicle did not remain and the victim, having suffered major injuries, was pronounced dead at the scene.
On Saturday, February 17, 2018 shortly before 7:00 p.m., Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM, a 60 year-old male from Brampton, and the driver believed to be responsible in this incident, surrendered to police at 22 Division. Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM has since been charged with Fail to Remain Cause Death.
Hivissa SATCHITHANANTHAN, a 25 year old female from Brampton, Shajeetha SATCHITHANANTHAN a 28 year-old female from Brampton and Gowtham SATKUNARAJAH a 28 year-old male from Brampton have each been charged with Accessory After the Fact in relation to this incident.
Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM will answer to his charge on March 12, 2018. Hivissa SATCHITHANANTHAN, Shajeetha SATCHITHANANTHAN andGowtham SATKUNARAJAH will answer to their charges on Monday March 26, 2018 at the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton
Anyone who may have witnessed the collision, have dashboard video footage of the incident or who may have any information regarding this incident is asked to contact investigators with the Major Collision Bureau at (905) 453-2121, ext. 3710. Information may also be left anonymously by calling Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or by visiting www.peelcrimestoppers.ca or by sending a text message to CRIMES (274637) with the word ‘PEEL’ and then your tip.
Justin Trudeau in India: Hug missing! Mounting pressure?
The much publicized and anticipated visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to India was marred with questions. The questions were centered on the kind of welcome he would be given in the Sikh dominated state of Punjab. Also the famous hug by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was being anticipated. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finally made his much-touted visit to India. He landed on the Indira Gandhi Airport, New Delhi only to be received by Gajendra Singh Shekhawat not even a Cabinet Minister in Narendra Modi’s government.
He is presently the second rank Minister of State for Agriculture. That comes in complete contrast to the warmth that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his NDA government has generally displayed towards the visiting dignitaries. Only a couple of weeks ago, when the heads of the 10 ASEAN states arrived in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t receive Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the airport, as he has previously done with many leaders including Barack Obama, Xi Jinping, Shinzo Abe, and Benjamin Netanyahu.
The fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t join him is all surprising even when Prime Minister Trudeau visited Gujarat. This is unusual because the Indian Prime Minister has set a trend that he always accompanies head of the state when they visit his home state.
Even Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath did not show up, let alone accompany Prime Minister Trudeau to the Taj. However, during Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s 15 January visit to the Taj Mahal at Agra, Yogi Adityanath had received Netanyahu and his wife and shown them around as well as hosted a lunch for them. For first three days, none from the executive or the elected representative held any meeting with the delegation.
Media in India is trying to spread a message that the cold treatment given by Prime Minister could be because two of the four Sikh members of Trudeau’s cabinet – Harjit Sajjan and Amarjeet Sohi – support the Khalistan movement. However, had that been the case his visit to Punjab would have got a similar response. However, the Punjab Government led by Captain Amarinder Singh rolled out a red carpet during his stay at Amritsar and even the two leaders held some fruitful discussions.
Thus putting an end to those criticisms that that Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit was devoid of any warmth. Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh, for instance who met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau setting aside his earlier prejudice that he exhibited during the visit of Defence Minister Harjeet Singh Sajjan.
In recent months, Gurudwaras (Sikh temples) in Canada, the United States and Australia have banned Indian officials from visiting gurudwaras and the moment started with Gurudwaras here in Toronto. Could that be the reason for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to not accord one of the warmest welcomes that he is known to provide? Or the use by Canada’s parliament of the term genocide to describe mass killings of Sikhs in India in 1984 has left the Indian Prime Minister disturbed? However, more than Prime Minister Modi, this could have left the Congress party in troubled waters, but that was also not the case as Amarinder Singh hails from the same party.
The lukewarm welcome to Prime Minister Trudeau can have its political ramifications too. Will it hamper the significant 2015 deal, in which Canada agreed to supply 3,000 metric tons of Uranium to power India’s atomic reactors?
Somewhere Prime Minister Modi has not taken the issue of non allowing entry of Indian officials to Gurudwaras and the statement on Genocide too lightly. Prime Minister Modi however has failed to understand that Canada cannot curtail the right of freedom of speech and expression of its citizen.
Two nations perhaps failed to resolve the matter before Prime Minister boarded the flight from Canada and not welcoming Prime Minister Trudeau could be a tactical decision to put pressure on him. With Prime Minister Modi preferring to meet him at the far end of the tour has conveyed a lot about the myopic approach of Prime Minister Modi.